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Cats and dogs co-sleeping - fascinating info...

[ Edited ]

Fun to apply to your past, present, and future furkids... plus cute illustrations.  8-)

 

What your pet's SLEEPING position says about their personality - from the submissive 'knee nuzzle' to the dependent 'sneak'

 

  • Two thirds of dog and cat owners snuggle up with pets at night, survey shows
  • Experts offered analysis about what their sleeping positions reveal 
  • Pets who nuzzle into the knee are submissive while the 'superhero' is protective

 

From the protective 'superhero' to the dependent 'sneak', experts have revealed what your pet's favourite sleeping position reveals about their personality. 

 

British animal behaviourist, Professor Peter Neville, shared his insights after a study from pet wellbeing website Itchpet.com revealed two-thirds of owners share their bed with their dog or cat. 

 

He said: 'When choosing their sleeping positions, our pets are broadly seeking to maintain and enhance their close protecting bond with us, rather than any desire to control us or monopolise territory.

 

'But they do cleverly learn to use their appeal and warm benefits they bring to us to train us to meet their individual night-time needs and desires and to shift our sleeping habits to accommodate theirs.'

 

Here, a closer look at the 10 most popular pet sleeping positions and what they say about your furry friend...   

 

1. The Faithful 

 

Lies at the foot of your bed by your feet

 

Restless sleeper: Dogs and cats at the end of the bed want to keep an easy escape route

While this seems like the actions of a dutiful and worshipping dog, you are of course horizontal in bed and so there is no respectful acknowledging posturing here. 

 

More likely is that you are a restless sleeper and this is as close as he or she can be to you while keeping an easy escape route.

 

2. The Knee Nuzzle

 

Nestles in the bend of your legs as you lie in the foetal position

 

Handing over responsibility: This cozy position allows pets to totally relax and sleep like a baby

Warmth and all-enveloping security are the key attractions here as you all curl up in that 'artificial womb' together. This pet can be more than happy to hand over all responsibility for their well-being to you as if they are a puppy or kitten again. 

 

In this perfectly protected environment, they don't need to make any more decisions and literally sleep like a baby.

 

3. The Donut Divider 

 

Curls up in a ball between your legs

 

Complete quiet: A cat or dog snuggled in this way is able to 'sound-proof' their sleep

 

Smaller pets can enjoy the comforting slight compression of your legs on either side and blankets above and below, provided you stay still of course. 

 

Both cats and dogs are able to hear far higher frequencies of sound that are 'ultra-sonic' to us, so by getting themselves in a sound-proofed warm 'bubble' bordered by our legs can help protect them from any unwanted noises that might disturb them.

 

4.The Wall 

 

In between you and your partner

 

Centre of attention: This position could suggest the pet is closer to one partner than the other

 

This position might be an innocent warmth and security choice from your pet, but there may be an element of strategy here too. 

 

A dog, or sometimes a cat, that is especially bonded to one partner might just be keeping the other at distance and is trying to ensure that he or she gets whatever attention might be on offer.

 

5. The Pillow Bandit

 

Takes over the entire pillow

 

Needy: A Pillow Bandit wants to be in prime position so that you see them when you wake up

A less likely position if you snore, this position is usually the preserve of smaller dogs and cats who find the extra softness. As soon as the Pillow Bandit wakes, they will usually insist on waking you up too. 

 

Your face is immediately accessible to be targeted with a rub or a lick to ensure that breakfast is delivered pronto.

 

6. The Under-Cover Lover

 

Under the duvet

 

Close bond: A dog or cat under the covers will be enveloped in your 'common smell'

It's the ultimate in dark safe dens to hide away in a reassuring warm heap where body smells and pheromones combine to create a comforting 'scent fug'.

 

Cats and dogs are notoriously indifferent of their owners breaking wind and this paradoxically might add to the security of an enveloping 'common scent' in sleeping under the duvet. 

 

Just as some people sleep better under weighted blankets, some dogs also relax better if they are lightly compressed by bedcovers.

 

7. The Cuddle Bug

 

Cuddles you in the crook of your arm

 

Seeking reassurance: A Cuddle Bug can feel the reassurance of your heartbeat

 

This gets the pet closer to your face where he or she can probably feel the reassurance of your heartbeat, while yet also affording a quick escape route to other parts of the bed or to the floor if you turn or alter position in your sleep.

 

The Cuddle Bug may also aspire to being a fully-fledged Pillow Bandit, and this position may just be a short reaffirming step in their process of training you to accept and enjoy their advancing expectations.

 

8. The Sneak

 

Inches further up the bed to get closer to your head

 

Dependent: The Sneak crawls towards the pillow in search of your reassuring breathing

Often also with aspirations to become a Pillow Bandit, the Sneak is probably quite a dependent soul who loves nothing more than to rest and snooze ever closer to your face where he can feel your heartbeat and hear your gentle breathing while you sleep.

 

9. The Superhero

 

Sprawls out on their belly next to you

 

Protector: A superhero at the end of the bed is ready to move at the sign of any disturbance

 

This may be a bit of a compromise position by dogs - and only very rarely by cats - who want to keep close secure contact with you for a while and enjoy being petted on the head and massaged down their backs as you relax, but which prevents them from overheating if your bed is very warm. 

 

It may also be that the Superhero chooses this splayed position rather than curling up or stretching out so they are increasingly ready to look after you if there are disturbances at night. Your welfare is their welfare after all.

 

10.The Octopus

 

Sprawled out in the middle of the bed and you're right on the edge

 

Taking advantage: This pet knows how nice you are and that you would do anything for them

 

A very common position for many pet owners to find themselves in in the morning. The pet starts out nicely sharing bed space with their loving owner, but gradually expands occupancy of the bed during the night, perhaps to get more comfortable and dissipate heat if you are too warm. 

 

This pet knows how nice you are, taking advantage of your good nature as you move to accommodate them as they steadily stretch out in your half-awake state and shove you, ever so gently, to the side. 

- - - - - -

“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”
(Pedro Calderon de la Barca)
Valued Contributor
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Re: Cats and dogs sleeping - fascinating (& adorable) info. :)

@feline groovy  How interesting!  I have a sweet little 9 lbs maltese-bichon mix & she is definitely a knee nuzzler!  Sometimes I want to turn but don't want to disturb her cuddling!  lol

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Re: Cats and dogs sleeping - fascinating information

@hckynut :  what about your numerous kitties and cat-sized doggy?  ;-)

“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”
(Pedro Calderon de la Barca)
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Re: Cats and dogs sleeping - fascinating information

And since you're "bipetual" (Jackson Galaxy term), @NickNack, how does it work for Frankie and Henry?

“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”
(Pedro Calderon de la Barca)
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Re: Cats and dogs sleeping - fascinating information


@feline groovy wrote:

And since you're "bipetual" (Jackson Galaxy term), @NickNack, how does it work for Frankie and Henry?


 

 

@feline groovy   Cute pictures and ideas.  Frankie is probably "the sneak" and Henry is none of the above.  He curls up beside me but not touching me.  He never sleeps in my bed all night though.  I have had dogs and cats that have used all of those various positions in the past.

My little dog, a heartbeat at my feet. —Edith Wharton
What greater gift than the love of a cat.--Charles Dickens





Honored Contributor
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Re: Cats and dogs sleeping - fascinating information

If pets sleep in their own beds, is there a separate set of rules?  Probably not; we can try adapting adapt these.

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Re: Cats and dogs sleeping - fascinating information

I love seeing pictures of Henry and Frankie.  Now they are cute.  

 

Bill is cute...I don't mean to infer he isn't cute...he's just orange and looks like a little boy.

 

But Katie is the pretty one.  She's more like Henry.  She is long-haired and black and white.

 

 

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Re: Cats and dogs sleeping - fascinating information

[ Edited ]

I'm not surpised the author missed the "Bengal 500".  Two bengal cats  that quietly slept with you for...oh maybe 5 minutes...then chased each other between the two windows flanking the bed, 

 

All the while running over both your heads and rattling the vertical blinds.

 

Lasted two nights...no, actually three, because Millie cat quickly learned how to open the existing latch handle door opener before we changed it to a door knob.  LOL

 

Won't go into the night she threw herself against the door and meowed 143+ times before she gave up.  (yes, after awhile I started counting).

 

 

Denise
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Re: Cats and dogs sleeping - fascinating information

No matter the position, I always slept better with my animal companion(s).

“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”
(Pedro Calderon de la Barca)